Millennials: Become Leaders to Secure Your Role
It’s a tough job market out there, and you need every advantage you can get-but you can’t just be an arm of execution to your boss anymore. If you behave that way in the workplace, then your employer can just find another person to fill the same role.
That’s why you need to add value from the trenches-and you’ll work your way up in no time with the kind of worth that doesn’t show up on a resume.
Here’s how you do it.
Grow Into a Technology Leader
Play to expectations of being good with technology. It’s not about being a full-stack developer or a whiz kid with HTML 5; it’s about using commonly available tools to streamline the way everyone works.
Older generations aren’t familiar with technology, letting you refresh the way things get done by showing them new ways to communicate.
Leverage that on every level:
- Get more effective at arranging and calculating data
- Use live documents (from Google) to make changes during actual meetings
- Recommend chat apps like Slack and Skype to connect everyone
Millennials are as old as 35 now, and can become the office whiz kid with a handful of apps.
Set the Bar for Culture
Millennials are building a reputation for working harder and believing in what they do. You can champion that cause. Many find it difficult to land a job, true, yet some believe millennials hold no loyalty to their employers, leapfrogging from place to place.
That’s not true-not once you peel back the layers. The truth is that millennials work hard. They put in more time to earn their degrees and work long hours because they know they have to be more than a list of skills. They’ve put in more sweat working minimum-wage jobs just to get a salaried one.
All of this means they know a good culture when they see one. Many move on when they sense a culture (or organization) collapsing in on itself. As a millennial you can position yourself against that negative preconception by contributing to the company culture. You don’t need to become the Chair of the Awkward Work Events Committee; instead you should make it clear that you believe in the company’s mission and values through the work that you do.
Assume the Role of Influencer
You know what works better than an ad? An endorsement.
Not a paid endorsement, of course-but a real one from a real person. That’s your opportunity. Millennials know how to use social media, and you’re one of them.
You can make your company look great, and, more importantly-like you want to be there. This isn’t about compromising your social media profile with obvious sell-out ads, but you can do little things to celebrate the best things about your team and organization.
Here’s what you can do:
- Share snapshots of company events, like a group shot at the Christmas party
- Wear some company swag
- Put some logos on your laptop
- Use water bottles or coffee mugs from your company
It’s the little things that make you an every-day spokesperson, and it can become a competitive advantage.
Develop Your Personal Brand Too
That kind of every-day endorsement also provides a great opportunity to synthesize your own professional values with your company image. Brands known for quality or stellar customer service can improve your own image by association.
It tells people that you work where you do because you believe in it, which comes across as more authentic than working just for money.
Show them how it’s done-with style. It’s a two-way street.
Assist in Recruiting Long-Term Employees
Large corporations have a hiring problem. Their resume keyword scanners aren’t always reliable, and that undercuts an organization’s ability to grow.
Building on your role as a champion of culture and technology, you can become an employment ambassador to solve that problem. It works even better for small and medium businesses because they live and die on word-of-mouth hiring.
You can strengthen your own reputation by helping your company hire the next millennial whiz kid. You don’t need to be an extravert to accomplish that, either. Network with modern tools like LinkedIn. You can even reach out to start a conversation over Twitter.
Show off your company positively while you stay in people’s orbit with the occasional message and status interaction. When the opportunity arises to recruit someone-or move on-you’ll have the network and the reputation to accomplish whatever you want.
Rising up in the workforce as a millennial leader will be the key to becoming advancing your career. Streamline workflow and democratize culture with technology, set a new bar for everyday public relations, and develop your personal brand in tandem with your team.
You’ll become a leader in no time.